City boss Paul Lambert offered a fascinating insight into the German footballing culture, after the former Borussia Dortmund European Cup winner laid out the Canaries’ pre-season plans.
The League One champions will spend a ‘private’ training week during July in the country where Lambert enjoyed so much success as a player and the Norwich chief is keen for his squad to pick up on the Germans’ good habits. After all, they are known for their winning mentality.
“I think it’s important that the lads get away and Germany isn’t your typical Marbella or wherever,” said the City chief, speaking to reporters ahead of tomorrow’s finale at home to Carlisle.
“You’re there to work and it’s important that they prepare to do well next year. It’ll be hard work – but pre-season is always hard.
“It’s a different culture there and everything is really focused. They are single-minded in terms of what they want and that’s why they’ve been really successful.
“You have to get British players into a mentality where you know it’s your job. Football is a hobby but it’s also your job. You have to be as successful as you can and the best way to do that is to prepare properly and that’s what we’ll try and do.”
The Championship new-boys also face two glamour fixtures, with Newcastle United and Everton heading for Carrow Road. But Lambert doesn’t pay too much attention to summer results, despite admitting that they will be two big occasions.
“They will be marvellous games for us and those teams are huge football clubs. But it’s your first game which is really important.
“I think the club were undefeated last year in pre-season and then look what happened on the opening day. You can’t look into those results too much.”
The Canaries do, of course, end a highly successful campaign against Carlisle tomorrow afternoon and it promises to be some day, with the League One title to be lifted soon after the final whistle.
There will be another prestigious award dished out before kick-off as well, with the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy the prize for a G Holt, F Forster, G Doherty or W Hoolahan.
But even though it will be a day of celebrations at Carrow Road, Lambert was keen to point out that there is still a job to do.
“We did it the right way last week at Bristol Rovers, playing some terrific football, and we’ll try and do the same tomorrow. First and foremost, we’ll try and win the game.
“It will be the same squad, with one or two players coming back from injury and I’m sure they will have the right mentality to win the game.
“We’ll do everything we can to win the game well but I don’t want to deflect anything away from Carlisle, as they have had a really good season themselves, getting to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
“It’ll be a hard game but it’s important that we win it and try and play well. The stadium will be rocking and with the presentations before and after, it will be a great day for us.
“The lads have got nothing to prove to me because I see them every day in training and I see them every Saturday but I’m sure they’ll give me everything they’ve got tomorrow. The crowd will get behind them and hopefully enjoy the day.”
In team news, the Canary boss hinted that he might make a change or two but there was good news concerning Wes Hoolahan, and the talented Irishman should make some sort of appearance after a thigh injury.
Stephen Elliott, however, will miss out on a final loan appearance after picking up an ankle knock.
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